It’s Monday and I’m weary #IMWAYR

June 1, 2020

I have gotten a couple of text messages from friends–white friends–asking me how I’m doing or how I’m holding up, and the answer is the same for all.

I’m angry and I’m weary. I’m angry and I’m weary and I’m tired of talking about being angry and weary. If you want to know the depths of my anger and weariness, I’ve found that the following three Instagram posts pretty well encapsulate where I am. The first one is a short video (three minutes) and a transcription has been helpfully provided here. The other two speak for themselves.

Adding on this is that I have a young person here with me who is stressed and scared but also doesn’t have the depth of–I don’t even know the word–weariness? knowledge? experience? education? of how trying this country is on a day-to-day basis, though she is quickly learning. We are fairly privileged, especially in that we don’t live close to the chaos that’s touching most of Los Angeles County, and still she wants me to keep the blinds closed and the windows closed because “we don’t know who our neighbors are.”

So, yes. I’m weary. And I’m angry. And I’m tired of talking about it.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This book is so, so, so, so, SO, SO BORING. Nothing happens in the first one hundred (100! One hundred! O N E H U N D R E D!) pages.

Also, Lisbeth is the most interesting character in this book and instead of learning anything about her background, I get extensive biographies on *checks book* the Vagner family, most of whom are dead. DEAD! Just…why?

I am mad at myself. I should have stopped reading but I wanted to be a good book club citizen after abandoning the past two books.

PLUS ALSO, there are three graphic rape scenes back-to-back that literally made me sick to my stomach, and I still don’t know why they were there. To show me that Lisbeth is a badass? To show me that there are sexual predators out there? That some of those sexual predators are sadists? I could have gotten that same information without graphic rape details, thanks. (And I did later in the book and while those details were gruesome, there was no play by play of the rape, so I know the author could have done it.)

I guess this is a payoff book in that it gets super interesting in the last 20% of the book, but you know, then it goes back to being boring in the last 7% or so as well.

And I get that there was supposed to be intertwined corruption or whatever, but, seriously, how many plot threads did there honestly need to be here?

I liked Lisbeth (obviously), I liked Mikael, I liked Erika. The rest of the book I could quite honestly chuck in the bin. I skimmed most of it anyway because of all the details about things I didn’t care about that honestly didn’t even factor into solving the one, two, three with a possible four mysteries in the book.

Also, at some point, I realized I probably could have read three books in ALL THE TIME I spent avoiding reading and then forcing myself to read this.

I’m going to go scrub my brain with a middle grade book now.

1.5 stars, rounding down because I’m still mad I actually read the whole thing.

View all my reviews

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  1. Katy K.

    Wishing you hugs and naps, friend! Trying to find more anti-racist work for myself.
    Also, not that I was planning to, but I will now extra not read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Maybe the new Kate Milford would be better?

  2. Chandra Lynn

    Sending a big hug for all of us–and restorative sleep. I laughed out loud at the first sentence of your book review. I read a book last week that did not live up to the hype (hint: it was an Oprah pick). My only solace is that it took me only a few hours to read it.

    • Akilah

      Ugh, you’re lucky your book was so short. This one was long and a drag.

      And yes, hugs and restorative sleep. We’re going to need it.

      • Chandra Lynn

        The book I read was a little more than 300 pages. It wasn’t a boring read per se. I just kept expecting depth. It just wasn’t there.

  3. Morenita Mommy

    We are so tired and weary. I’m surprised I’ve been able to function this week. Your review of TGWTDT (is that how ppl label it?) had me rolling. I thought the movie was OK!

  4. Elisabeth Ellington

    I don’t know The Nap Ministry, and now I need to. YES! I have been thinking a lot this week about how and when Black people have the space to grieve and heal and I’m afraid the only answer I’ve been able to come up with is never. I really hear what you’re saying about your daughter. My son is in much the same space and struggling with the awareness and knowledge and experience he needs to be able to articulate all he’s thinking and feeling right now. Also, I felt that book review deeply! So I tried to read that book years and years ago. I think I made it through those 100 pages and then abandoned. I just couldn’t. I don’t know how anyone does. You have my awe and sympathy for making it through the whole thing! I hope you found a good mental tidy in a middle-grade. (I just started Victoria Jamison and Omar Mohamed’s When Stars Are Scattered last night–very good so far.)

    • Akilah

      My daughter and I went to a protest, which I think helped a lot. I think part of it for her was both the impotent rage and the fact that she is extremely privileged so sitting in our relatively cushy apartment not having to be out in the world. She seems a lot more settled since we did that.

      If it weren’t for my book club, I would not have even made it that far. I was happy to participate fully in the discussion, but, yes, the middle grade was much needed. I read A Harlem Charade by Natasha Tarpley. It was just what I needed.


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